The 2014 Geneva Autoshow is in full swing this week and one of the most hyped announcements is that of Apple integrating their user experience into a variety of cars starting later this year called CarPlay. So far we’ve only seen the UE in pictures, but as part of the announcement for their new XC90 SUV, Volvo released this teaser video that shows a (as expected) ‘Her‘-like experience on your dashboard that uses your iPhone to power the system. Could this be the beginning of the end for third-party GPS units and stereo decks?
Your atop a 20 foot extension ladder. The sweat drips from your brow. You lean out. The ceiling fan… it’s almost hung. *Ker-plop* Yeeeeeah, that last screw just plummeted 24 feet into your unfinished, single-serve blueberry yogurt cup. That’s all sorts of frustration you just don’t need. If this were a TV infomercial, Phil Kauffman would pop out of that yogurt cup and introduce you to the Screw Grabber. It’s not a TV infomercial, but Phil is still going to introduce you to the single screwdriver accessory to kill your screw dropping frustrations.
We’ve seen concepts for modular smartphones come and go in the past few years, but a lot of information was left up in the air…such as why would you even need one and how much would it cost? Yesterday Google announced that they will be hosting the first Project Ara Developers’ Conference in April that aims to educate the first round of developers how to modify the modular phone system. The LEGO-like phone will ship with little more than an exoskeleton base featuring a screen and WiFi radio with the option of adding various add-ons per your desire…to some degree leaving the task of the industrial designer, mechanical engineer and software developer in the hands of the end user.
Mini Museum project creator Hans Fex comes off like the kind of guy you might want to talk to at a party: he’s a bit on the eccentric side, knows a thing or two about history, and has spent his teenage and adult years developing a museum that you can carry in your pocket. Well, the concept has finally hit the production line in three different sizes of resin blocks that contain everything from lunar rock to dinosaur egg and pieces of the Titanic to mummy wrapping. Billed as a portable learning learning tool–and not to mention a great conversational piece for a coffee table–the museum is currently flying of the shelf with a limited quantity available starting at $99 for the small size.
Last time we talked with Daniel Simon, we were at the Autodesk CAVE conference in Las Vegas this past December where he was explaining how he finds inspiration for his futuristic vehicle concept art. Between both his own personal projects and various concept design for films such as Oblivion, Tron, and Captain America, he is far from being bored these days. His latest project however brings his signature classic car-meets-spaceship aesthetic to the real world with the C-01 Superbike for Lotus.
It sounded like Santa was on his way at SolidWorks World 2014… at all times. Santa wasn’t delivering overly packed innovative tech and software, but the I.D. badges everyone wore rang out that signature sound. The way the lanyard connected to the badge holder was with two loosely fitted stamped sheet metal parts. The result – constant jingling and jangling all day long. When one would sit in a quiet room for a talk or a session, the slightest movement would set off a cacophony of clinking that was momentarily as loud as the speaker. The only place it wasn’t much of an issue was at the general assemblies, where loud music and a bellowing sound system drowned out everything, including the groans of all the middle management physiques. It was a problem that needed to be engineered away, and quick. So, I set out to create a solution–THE BADGE SILENCER.
Having an obsessive, deeply-rooted, and somewhat inexplicable passion for everyday objects is practically a required character trait in every Industrial Designer. For that reason, the task of renovating, reinventing, refining, and reforming the most common objects is one of the greatest and most enjoyable challenges for aesthetics visionaries. For millennia, domestic housewares, like furniture, have been a staple for designers to prove themselves by getting people to think about space and arrangement differently, and to appreciate the everyday objects that surround us. The Li-Wai Cup/Vase Series is the quintessence of these notions, and to see something of such contemporary style injected with traditional Chinese roots is simply stellar!
When Hans Christian Ørsted discovered Aluminum in 1825, it would have been very difficult for him to have foreseen the many domestic uses and aesthetic applications that the material would ultimately take-on in the modern age. It was hardly one century ago that architects and designers truly began to capitalize on the use of raw, exposed, industrial metals on a massive scale. Using iron, steel, and aluminum in undecorated ways to flaunt the natural beauty of metals is an arguably new trend in consumer design theory, and one that hardly existed prior to Art Nouveau and Art Deco. But when Apple released the first aluminum G5 series in 2003, so began the new era of chic aluminum.
In this article, I tackle a question that many have, which is: who has what IP and who is behind these wheels? The differences between FlyKly and Superpedestrian help to illustrate what I consider to be the formula necessary for sustained innovation. The question I pose to you is this: which wheel are you going to buy?
Now that we all agree that these smart wheels are significant and innovative products, we can take a closer look at FlyKly and Superpedestrian to determine which company is and will continue to be the innovator. Today we’ll examine how both companies manage their user communities and fund their endeavours. What we’ll see is that by failing to engage the community that they developed by using Kickstarter, FlyKly is not setting up for success. Superpedestrian, on the other hand, is actively building an engaged community, but their reliance on venture capital funding leaves us with some unknowns for their future.